Dividing Assets & Debts
It’s natural to think of divorce as the “end” of a marriage. But this way of thinking only contributes to the stress and high emotions you may experience during your divorce.
It’s also wrong.
The marriage has already ended…that’s why you’re getting a divorce! The divorce proceedings are simply setting up what the next stage of your lives will be like. And one of the first steps in the process is dividing the assets from your marriage.
DIVORCE DOESN’T NEED TO BE NASTY
We’ve been trained to think of divorce as being a battle between two spouses, with a winner and a loser. Society tells us that we should try to take as much from our spouse as possible, while giving them little in return.
Even if you don’t feel this way personally, what if your spouse gets a lawyer that will convince them to take advantage of you? You have to then get a lawyer yourself that will fight back just as hard, right?
An amicable divorce is not only possible, it’s the best option for everybody. That’s why you need a lawyer who cares about you and sees you as an individual rather than just a number (or another fight that they have to “win”).
SPLITTING YOUR STUFF
In Florida, one of the first steps in a divorce is working to divide your assets and debts equally and fairly between the two parties. This needs to be done early, as it has an impact on other elements of the divorce.
During this step, it is important to not only identify each of your assets, but classify them as either marital (property acquired during the marriage) or nonmarital (property acquired outside of the marriage). Since each spouse has a right to 50% of all marital assets, misidentifying or misclassifying assets could have a detrimental effect on your life after the divorce.
THE LEAP FROG APPROACH
Other law firms will often take the easy approach when it comes to dividing assets, and simply declare that each spouse gets half of each asset. But this method breaks down quickly, leading to frustration and anger (two things we try to avoid here at Leap Frog Divorce).
That’s why we take the time to get to know our clients.
By asking a series of pointed questions, we can help you identify marital assets that you never would have thought about. You probably know to list your house, the family vehicles, and bank accounts, but some types of assets are less obvious.
Does your husband have a large guitar collection? Did your wife receive stock as part of her compensation package at work? What about a 401k or retirement account? Do you own a business?
If you knew that you were entitled to 50% of your spouse’s guitar collection, how would that make you feel? Getting half of his guitars might bring you no joy and only cause your husband unnecessary pain.
Instead of taking a machete to your stuff, we can use a surgical scalpel to split your assets up in a way that makes sense and leaves everyone happy.
READY TO START YOUR JOURNEY?
I’m AJ Grossman, an Orlando-based family law attorney, and I started Leap Frog Divorce as a client-focused law firm. I do whatever it takes to help my clients achieve their goals, whether I need to be a consultant, mediator, lawyer, or co-counsel to assist your current lawyer.
Going through a divorce is exhausting and emotionally draining. But I do this every day and am an expert in family law. Throughout the process, I keep an eye on the big picture, coaching you to make the right choices that will help you today and well into the future.
Do you want to avoid the long, nasty, drawn-out courtroom battles that you see on TV? Do you want to work with your spouse so that both of you can start the next chapters of your lives?
Sign up for one of our Strategy Sessions so that we can begin the process of dividing your assets and start your journey that will eventually lead to a happier place.